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Complaints about care home funding decisions

Complaints about care home funding decisions
If you've decided to live in a care home, you'll need an assessment of your care needs and a financial assessment. Your local council will then make a decision about how much funding you'll get. If you're unhappy with this decision, you can complain.

How to complain

You should complain in writing to your council's Director of Social Work or Director of Social Care. The complaint should be investigated by someone other than the person who made the original decision.

You should get a written reply within 28 days.

If you're not satisfied by the response from the council

If you're not satisfied with the answer you get, you have the right of appeal to a Complaint Review Committee.

The review committee must contain at least one independent member. It can make recommendations to the Social Work Committee. However, your council's social care department don't have to comply.

If you're not satisfied by the outcome of the appeal

If you're not satisfied by the outcome of the Complaint Review Committee, ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to review the case.

It can consider how the council dealt with the case, including at the Complaint Review Committee stage, and make recommendations.

SPSO can't be used to appeal a Complaint Review Committee decision.

Judicial review

All the previous routes should be followed first. If you're still not satisfied, you can seek a judicial review. You can petition the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The petition can't be made just because the decision is disagreed with. Grounds must be supplied that the decision is unlawful.

Order to carry out statutory duties

Application for an order from the Court of Session can be made without attempting any other route first.

It's only available if the council has failed to carry out a clear statutory duty. A court can impose an order on the council, forcing it to comply. It could also impose fines or imprisonment.

Find out more about complaints and feedback.

Further information

The payment of care home fees is a complex subject and depends on many things which are unique to you.

If you want detailed information or personal advice, ask an experienced independent adviser like:

Citizens Advice Scotland - phone 0808 800 9060, 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday, or 10am to 2pm on a Saturday
Age Scotland - its fact sheets have information on paying for care homes, or phone their helpline on 0800 12 44 222

The information was last updated on: 24th May 2017

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